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Grain Malting Equipment


Curtis McMillan

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Just a simple question.....

Have you ever researched what it actually takes to malt grain on an industrial scale? From what I found in casual reasearch it would never pay for itself when run on the small scale micro-distilleries run. Too much labor, too many variables in getting reliable and repeatable results, several other things small folks don't need to be spending their time on.

Now smoking, or flavoring the maled grain in some way.....that's entirely different. Doing things at the post-malted stage won't effect the ABV yield, so your safe playing with it. And you can smoke up 100lb grain fairly easy with a couple of 55gal drums built into a long rotary smoker.

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Has any one seen or know of anyone in the USA that can build or does build Grain Malting & Smoking equipment?

Contrary to the results of Mr. Porter's casual research, there are in fact people out there having a go at what I call "micro malting". Other than Rick Wasmund (who might recommend that you buy a shovel and find yourself a concrete floor, which is some good advice) you might get in touch with these guys:

http://www.coloradomaltingcompany.com/

I was at their facility just after they first opened a few years ago, and may have walked out of their maltery with their first samples of malt (decent stuff, by the way). They had converted what looked like a 200 gal. dairy tank into a combo steeping-drying automated malting vessel. Very impressive. If you can get them to build you one, let me know. I'll place another order.

I understand that the demand for their product has allowed them to invest their profits into expanding their facilities. I look forward to visiting their new facility and seeing the improvements.

Profitability? That's a marketing issue. Check out Colorado Malting's prices. Way to go guys.

Nick

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Contrary to the results of Mr. Porter's casual research, there are in fact people out there having a go at what I call "micro malting". Other than Rick Wasmund (who might recommend that you buy a shovel and find yourself a concrete floor, which is some good advice) you might get in touch with these guys:

http://www.coloradomaltingcompany.com/

I was at their facility just after they first opened a few years ago, and may have walked out of their maltery with their first samples of malt (decent stuff, by the way). They had converted what looked like a 200 gal. dairy tank into a combo steeping-drying automated malting vessel. Very impressive. If you can get them to build you one, let me know. I'll place another order.

I understand that the demand for their product has allowed them to invest their profits into expanding their facilities. I look forward to visiting their new facility and seeing the improvements.

Profitability? That's a marketing issue. Check out Colorado Malting's prices. Way to go guys.

Nick

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Ditto on Colorado Malting Co. recommendation. I am heading down there July 6 to see their upgrades.

Post-kiln smoking is easily done in a bbq smoker while spraying the malt with apple juice or other flavorful liquid. We do it for our smoked porter.

Cheers

Dave

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Contrary to the results of Mr. Porter's casual research, there are in fact people out there having a go at what I call "micro malting".

Just gotta clarify my initial response, since others are missing the point.

The point was that for a small distillery to malt their own grain and do everything else a distillery needs to keep up on it was simply wiser to purchase malted grain. And that's exactly what I found for both distillerys and micro-breweries who had thought about going down that road.

If you want to open a business micro-malting grains and selling them, more power to you. I was simply stating you need to make up your mind on what business you want to be in. Doing malting for only your own consumption in the distillery or brewery apparently isn't that cost effective. You have to malt more grain than you would use for the numbers and labor to work out.

So there..........

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Ditto on Colorado Malting Co. recommendation. I am heading down there July 6 to see their upgrades.

Post-kiln smoking is easily done in a bbq smoker while spraying the malt with apple juice or other flavorful liquid. We do it for our smoked porter.

Cheers

Dave

And you are doing exactly what I was talking about. Purchase your grain and do custom flavor smoking.

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I looked at a few but they don't look right. The good ones look like a massive dryer about as long as a car. They keep track of moisture and humidity. When its time to heat with hot air it tumbles the tube to keep from burning the grain and can put the exact particles of smoke in the air.

Looks just like this

waste-tyres-refinery-machine-76536.jpg

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Doing malting for only your own consumption in the distillery or brewery apparently isn't that cost effective. You have to malt more grain than you would use for the numbers and labor to work out.

So there..........

The most cost effective way to make pretty much any spirit would to buy railcars of ethanol from ADM, blend in some flavorings, and bottle it.

Sometimes people get into this industry for other reasons than massive profit margins, and if someone wants to malt their own grain because they believe that it yields a higher quality product, more power to them. Copper Fox distillery floor malts all of the barley for their single malt whiskey themselves, and they haven't been crippled by huge costs yet. It's a great product too.

So Curtis, if you want to malt your own barley (or other grains for that matter) I say go for it, and I can't wait to taste the product! You'll be in good company.

Nick

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You can also check out my website: www.valleymalt.com

My wife and I started our own malt house last year and it has been doing great. I would love to supply malting equipment to others to get them started as well, so that like micro-distilling and micro-brewing, micro-malting could grow into an industry of it's own. I have been in talks with some about supplying equipment, and have a business separate from the malt house that I can supply equipment through. I am a mechanical / process engineer as well as a maltster so my malt house is 90% automated (and ever increasing), and I can check the status of my system and change operating parameters anywhere my i-phone gets reception. That being said, I am really interested in floor malting as well, and appreciate the old art.

If you are interested in talking more, please send me a message, and we can discuss what you are thinking as far as capacity goes, and put together a cost and time frame for a malt system.

Malting like distilling is it's own niche. You need to be as committed to malting as you are to distilling. I always say that the easiest part is the malting, it is the cleaning before and after the malt system that are all the work. Your suppliers switch from a malt house or one supplier to potentially many farmers, and you take on the risk of a farming business. In New York this year much of the spring barley crop was lost due to the heavy rain in the early part of the season.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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  • 6 months later...

I read this topic with great interest and appreciate the comments posted above.

I don't think I read a specific answer to the equipment supplier question originally posed. I am looking for the same information. I hope you knowledgeable posters might be aware of resources that might be available to assist us in planning an expansion for a new grain processing/milling plant.

We've secured SBA Loan program approval and have a lender identified so we need to begin planning, more professionally, for what grain handling, processing and milling systems are cost-effective to design into our next facility.

Our company, To Your Health, produce several types of sprouted flour from various grains and beans. We are looking to expand our production and milling operations with an engineered solution that can significantly improve our current operations. We use a sprouting process that is very similar to the brewery industry's MALTING process, but on a smaller scale.

http://www.organicsproutedflour.net

We are aware that breweries' process for MALTING is very similar to our sprouting process. The length of our sprouting time for the GRAINS is much different and varies by grain but it's very similar. I'd be very interested to know if you might have washing/soaking/sprouting/drying process equipment solutions for a 10 ton per day MALTING-like production requirement.

Jim

E: jimsutton@tyhsfc.com

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